Fri, Sep 21, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

VIRTUAL CURRENCY

Hackers steal US$60m

Hackers stole US$60 million of digital coins from a Japanese exchange, the latest in a string of thefts that have kept many institutional investors wary of putting their money into cryptocurrencies. The theft of bitcoin, monacoin and bitcoin cash from Zaif, an exchange owned by Osaka-based Tech Bureau Corp, occurred last week and was disclosed yesterday by Tech Bureau in a statement. About ¥2.2 billion (US$19.6 million) of stolen coins belonged to the exchange and the rest was client money. Withdrawals and deposits were halted as Zaif rebuilds its system, with the exchange unable to say when they would resume.

GAMING

PlayStation Classic coming

Sony Corp is rolling out a mini version of its original PlayStation game console, seeking to tap in to the retro craze and nostalgia of gamers who grew up with the iconic device. The new PlayStation Classic is to retail for US$99, while original consoles are on sale on EBay for about US$40 to US$60. Sony’s revamp comes pre-loaded with 20 games, including classic titles like Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3. Sony is taking a page from the playbook of Nintendo Co, its Japanese rival and a master at reviving older systems. It is Sony’s first retro console offering and comes as its PlayStation 4 continues to dominate the gaming console market. The original PlayStation made its debut in Japan in December 1994. To date, Sony has sold about 82 million PS4s, gaming site VGChartz said.

NORWAY

Central bank raises key rate

The central bank yesterday raised its key interest rate for the first time in seven years, as the economy recovers from years of weak oil prices and the 2008 financial crisis. Norges Bank raised its key rate by 0.25 points to 0.75 percent and said a second hike was due again soon. “The executive board’s current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks suggests that the key policy rate will most likely be increased further in the first quarter of 2019,” Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said in a statement. The rate has been at a record low since March 2016, following the effects of the 2008 financial crisis and plunging oil and gas prices. However, the economy has seen solid growth, thanks primarily to budget and monetary policies and the rising oil price. GDP grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter and 0.5 percent in the second.

BANKING

Danske facing massive fine

The Danish government yesterday said that Danske Bank A/S is potentially facing a fine of up to 4 billion kroner, or about US$630 million, if found guilty for its role in one of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandals. The penalty would mark a Danish record for such cases, and does not take into account potential fines that might be levied elsewhere. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates Danske might have to pay more than 1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion) in total, while a Bloomberg News survey points to about US$800 million, about the same amount that Deutsche Bank AG and ING Groep NV paid for similar misdeeds. Speculation about a fine follows a series of stunning announcements by Danske on Wednesday, including the resignation of Thomas Borgen as CEO and the admission that as much as US$234 billion flowed through its tiny Estonian unit from 2007 to 2015. Danish Financial Services Authority head Jesper Berg yesterday told Danish broadcaster TV2 that the agency would revisit a case that it had put on ice earlier this year, but is reported to have attracted the attention of US authorities.

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